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LOUISVILLE - The Kentucky State Championships are often the end of the story for area track teams.
For Bullitt Central, the Class AAA Kentucky State Track and Field Championships at the University of Louisville were just the beginning of a major rebuilding job taken on by first-year head coach Mike Gossett as well as coach Thomas Martin who came out of retirement to help this season.
The first positive sign was a major upgrade in the number of athletes in the program. That translated into three athletes qualifying for Saturday's Class AAA state meet, the best number in more than a decade. Considering that two of the three were only freshmen and it is easy to see why Gossett was looking ahead on Saturday, not back.
"It is absolutely wonderful to have three athletes make it to state," the long-time Cougar assistant football coach said. "All three of them and everybody on the team improved so much. It's a great group of kids. We hope to get the numbers up even more next year and have more of them back here."
In action on Saturday, Bullitt Central didn't have anyone medal (by finishing in the top eight), but there were strong performances all around.
The top finish was turned in by freshman Trevor Carnell who was 13th in the 400-meter dash. Carnell, who had never competed in running events in track before this season, was in the second heat and ran a 51.85, just off his personal best. That finish was in a strong field where the top seven finishers broke 50 seconds.
The top ten finishers in Saturday's race were either seniors or juniors. Carnell was the second freshman across the line.
In the girls' long jump, Lady Cougar freshman Kasey Renfrow could not reach her season best, but she did have a 15-03.25 to finish 14th. Much like Carnell's event, the top ten finishers in the girls' long jump were all seniors and juniors.
The third Bullitt Central athlete competing on Saturday was senior Hunter Campbell in the discus. This was his first season of throwing competitively and he finished 21st with a throw of 116-00. Campbell had gone through the graduation line at Freedom Hall with his Bullitt Central class at 11 a.m. that morning and then darted over to the University of Louisville for his three throws starting at 2:45 p.m.